Botticelli’s quick-lunch

Botticelli'sThe wine list is entirely Italian and so, of course, is the food. Botticelli’s on South Congress offers a lunch menu and a dinner menu. We were told it’s closed on Mondays, but otherwise serving throughout the day from 11 am, up to 10:00 or so most evenings, and until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays as I recall (1321 South Congress; call 916-1315 to confirm hours). People were coming in and sitting at the bar to pick up take-out lunch orders while we were there. There’s an indoor bar and a little one on the way to the outdoor seating area, partly shown in this picture.

There were just two of us and we shared a giant green salad with a delicious vinaigrette dressing and a generous quantity of marinated green olives. I ordered the pork cutlet sandwich, which arrived accompanied by lots of homemade potato chips. Homemade chips are quite often seen around town these days, but today’s are the best I’ve tried; they weren’t greasy and they weren’t over-browned. The pork was thin and breaded, very nicely done, again, not greasy. Sharing the ciabatta with the pork was a ground-floor layering of pesto and a top layer of dressed dark greens of some sort, or at least that’s what it all tasted like to me without my actually performing an inspection. This sandwich seemed to be a popular take-out choice, and I can see why. The other person ordered capellini (long and thin pasta) with a very light tomato dressing and lots and lots of hot Italian sausage, well seasoned with plenty of fennel and a good dose of pepper. That person enjoyed this dish very much, but, since it was such a large portion, kindly shared it with me, and I enjoyed it just as much. The desserts sounded tempting and inventive, but it wouldn’t have been possible to take another bite. The lunch menu included several sandwiches. Also on the menu were a crab soup and a white gazpacho that included grapes. We saw orders of tempting-looking mussels being carried to other tables. The evening menu adds fish dishes. We were told that the menus will change seasonally.

This room is very pleasant, with some booths and some tables. A fresh Gerber daisy was at each table, and on the side of the booths, in a way reminiscent of church pews at a wedding, vases held colorful arrangements of fresh flowers. The table coverings and the napkins were of cloth. There were hanging fixtures and wall sconces of colored art glass, and textured clear glass formed part of the backs of the booths. The acoustics, at least at lunch, favored conversation. I’ll be very happy to try dinner at Botticelli’s.

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